WI: General Lee, Jefferson Davis, and other Confederate Leadership. Were Exiled From The United States After The Civil War?

What if the Union decided to be more harsh on the rebels after the fact, and exile the Confederate leadership and their immediate families from the united states after the end of the Civil War? How would this effect things in both the South and the Union going forward? What would it's Impact on 'Lost Cause Revisionism' be? How might it Impact things like Race Relations and Civil Rights going forward? If it were to happen, what nation would take the Confederate generals and Leadership? Would it have any significant impact historically?
 
What if the Union decided to be more harsh on the rebels after the fact, and exile the Confederate leadership and their immediate families from the united states after the end of the Civil War? How would this effect things in both the South and the Union going forward? What would it's Impact on 'Lost Cause Revisionism' be? How might it Impact things like Race Relations and Civil Rights going forward? If it were to happen, what nation would take the Confederate generals and Leadership? Would it have any significant impact historically?
It really don't see too much difference, tbh. Otl, most of the same people did little to nothing on the national scene after the war. Whether they sat out their old age in Britain (most likely), France (probably) or someplace like Cuba (possibly) instead of Virginia, Louisiana, or Florida would make little difference. The overall issues of Reconstruction and it's legacy will probably play out pretty much the same. The former CSA leadership had minimal impact on that anyway.
 
If the U.S. government did that, than the Lost Cause propaganda would probably be even worse than it is IOTL. They could present their leaders as men who had meekly surrendered against overwhelming odds, unwilling to participate in any more violence, only to be betrayed by the nation they had signed terms with and shipped off to a foreign nation. Other than that though, I'd see little that would change. While former leaders, such as Nathan B. Forrest or Martin W. Gary, did play a role in the violence post-war, particularly organizing the violent groups, most of the dirty work came from the hands of the common man, and plenty of groups were started by disgruntled veterans without the guidance of their officers.
 
Would more confederate generals seeks military employment elsewhere? This could lead to better trained militaries for other countries (most notably Mexico, Brazil, and Spain). I am curious in exiled Confederate settlement in Cuba could change the Spanish American War in some way or another. Also (and this one is out there), could exiled Confederate generals/soldiers join the Orange Free State and Republic of South Africa? Possibly a real life Draka timeline in the works?
 
Would more confederate generals seeks military employment elsewhere? This could lead to better trained militaries for other countries (most notably Mexico, Brazil, and Spain). I am curious in exiled Confederate settlement in Cuba could change the Spanish American War in some way or another. Also (and this one is out there), could exiled Confederate generals/soldiers join the Orange Free State and Republic of South Africa? Possibly a real life Draka timeline in the works?
I like this idea of Confederates being hired out to other countries, similarly to what some of them did in our TL, like William W. Loring, Henry H. Sibley, Charles W. Field, and Thomas Jordan. What would be really interesting is if they end up on opposite sides of each other, like how Jordan fought with Cuban rebels IOTL, but in this ATL, Loring gets recruited by the Spanish to defeat them.
 
Last edited:
The impacts are going to much greater in America than on the rest of the world. I honestly don't know which direction it pushes things, but it's hard to imagine the memory of the war being the same following this. Do you have more statues of Lee now or less? Does Birth of a Nation still get made? Is is only one of a series of popular films in the genre. There is a very specific way that the Confederacy was remembered and referenced throughout US history that had intense effects on race relations and the civil rights movement that persist today. There is no way that the memory of and references to the war isn't strongly impacted by it's most recognizable figures living out their days in exile.
 
The impacts are going to much greater in America than on the rest of the world. I honestly don't know which direction it pushes things, but it's hard to imagine the memory of the war being the same following this. Do you have more statues of Lee now or less? Does Birth of a Nation still get made? Is is only one of a series of popular films in the genre. There is a very specific way that the Confederacy was remembered and referenced throughout US history that had intense effects on race relations and the civil rights movement that persist today. There is no way that the memory of and references to the war isn't strongly impacted by it's most recognizable figures living out their days in exile.
So are you saying that race relations would be better if the was no civil war to remember?
 
It kind of depends on why there was no civil war. Was it because slavery was ended earlier peacefully? Was it because the South never lost control in Congress and never felt the need to secede? And in that scenario how long did slavery last and how did it end?
 
It kind of depends on why there was no civil war. Was it because slavery was ended earlier peacefully? Was it because the South never lost control in Congress and never felt the need to secede? And in that scenario how long did slavery last and how did it end?

I said no civil war to remember. By that I meant that the was no histories written by Davis or any of the other southerners about the south fighting the Yankees in the war between the states. So no memorials to the CSA it is just becomes some thing no one wants to talk about.
 
Another thought would be what if the senior leader's of the CSA were tried and convicted of treason? It is hard to venerate and put up statues of people who waged war on their country, remember many of the Confederate leaders served in the US military, and/or the US government, then were responsible for the deaths of thousands of their fellow Americans to prop up the institution of slavery. In some ways I think the US lost an opportunity, they won the war, but lost the peace, in an effort to let them down easy.
 
Another thought would be what if the senior leader's of the CSA were tried and convicted of treason? It is hard to venerate and put up statues of people who waged war on their country, remember many of the Confederate leaders served in the US military, and/or the US government, then were responsible for the deaths of thousands of their fellow Americans to prop up the institution of slavery. In some ways I think the US lost an opportunity, they won the war, but lost the peace, in an effort to let them down easy.

The British have tried Irish rebels for a very long time time for treason and hanged them.
It did not work for the British, all they did was to create dead martyrs to the cause. Most of Ireland left the union in the end.
In the case of officers like lee he resigned his commission in the US military, before returning to serve his state.
The would convicted of treason not trying to maintain slavery. Even if the CSA fought the war for some other reason the union was not going to let them leave no matter what the cause.
The federal government was very success in ending the war and making sure no states have ever tried to leave the union again.
Start trying people for treason and instead of it being a lost cause it becomes an on going cause that never ends.
I do not see how it affects race relations or civil rights. The union fought the war to preserve the union and race relations or civil right were not an issue that interested them much.
The time to improve race relations in America and the lives on African Americans is the 1960s not the 1860s.
Make all drugs legal in America, as the war on drugs has hit the black community much harder that the rest of America.
 
Last edited:
I think the US lost an opportunity, they won the war, but lost the peace, in an effort to let them down easy.

The US did *not* lose the peace.

The option of seceding was scotched forever, and the South accepted this. By 1898 Southern boys were volunteering for war just as readily as Northern ones, and even a Confederate General did so - even if he did sometimes call the Spanish "d**n Yankees" in overexcited moments.

Thee war was fought to reunite the country, and it did.
 

raharris1973

Donor
Monthly Donor
What if the Union decided to be more harsh on the rebels after the fact, and exile the Confederate leadership and their immediate families from the united states after the end of the Civil War? How would this effect things in both the South and the Union going forward? What would it's Impact on 'Lost Cause Revisionism' be? How might it Impact things like Race Relations and Civil Rights going forward? If it were to happen, what nation would take the Confederate generals and Leadership? Would it have any significant impact historically?

Why would they go into exile unless faced with the alternative of imprisonment, indefinite detention, perpetual police harassment, and denial of all financial or in kind gifts from friends and supporters? And find me a plausible way under 19th century American jurisprudence for that to happen.

What's going on lately? Is every week turning into "get Mikestone8's goat week?"
 
Top